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Posts Tagged ‘Triple-R’

Pics from the conference:

Jess, worship leader extraordinaire

Stevie, Charly and Justin

These guys led worship on Sunday morning

Dueling drums

Charly and Elijah

Random poppy picture

Pics from BJ’s wedding:

Walking down the aisle with Dad

Karen and Jim, aka Adopted Mom and Dad to BJ and me ๐Ÿ™‚

Dragons on the cake = WIN ๐Ÿ˜€

Close-up

The lovely bride ๐Ÿ™‚

Robyn (BJ’s sister) with Gracie (a friend’s daughter)

Cutting the cake

Pics from Sandrine’s birthday celebration:

Sandrine and Breon

Saw these just outside of the restaurant

The artist hard at work

I think she liked her present ๐Ÿ™‚

Pics from the ranch:

The barn, aka Home Sweet Home

Minis!

Kit Kat

The Homestead

Kelly and Tex, practicing for Parade of Breeds

Logan and Indy

Marilyn giving a roping demonstration

Some kitty cuteness:

No, Chica, you can’t come back in my suitcase…

Pickles, Keeper of the Puzzle

Another flowery snapshot:

Finally, something we get treated to just about every day:

Fascinating, isn’t it?

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*checks calendar* Apparently, yes.

Whoops.

Things have been a mixture of crazy busy and extremely not busy around here.

After New Year’s, the biggest thing was gearing up for the youth conference at the end of February. Said conference went really, really well. We had quite a few familiar faces and some new ones, and just about everyone got completely and thoroughly blasted. ๐Ÿ˜€
Things ended on a bit of a bittersweet note, though: during the last meeting, we got a phone call saying that my grandmother had passed away. That in itself wasn’t really a surprise; she hadn’t been doing well for the last several months and we knew it probably wouldn’t be much longer. Still, the timing could hardly have been worse. My mom had to go up to the nursing home and meet with her brothers to start the funeral arrangements, and the rest of us had to pack up and clean up by ourselves. This was when everyone proved how much of a family we’ve become: nearly everyone stayed and helped, and we finished in record time. They also prayed over us and loved on us, which was exactly what we needed. Breon (Sandrine’s boyfriend) was especially wonderful. He helped me stay awake and keep it together on the drive home: I’d been up and running around like mad since 6:00 that morning and I was wrecked. If I hadn’t already adopted him, I would have then. Breon, if you’re reading this, I love you, bro. ๐Ÿ™‚

The funeral was March 1st, exactly three years after my grandfather passed away, appropriately enough. It was just a short graveside service and then we all gathered at my cousin’s house for some much-needed family time.

In horse-related news, I did a few more shows. Some went better than others (Naika can be a bit temperamental and some days I was not quite all there). I did manage to place fifth in one show, and I always took a boatload of pictures, with quite a few gems each time. I’ll post some of my favorites next time.
Also, if all goes well, at some point this summer I’ll get to take my Level 6 horsemanship test. I moved up to the Level 6-7 class a few months ago, and so far it’s been going pretty well.

May was probably the busiest month of all for me. We had a conference from the 4th to the 8th, and I missed the last day because I was flying out to the States for BJ’s wedding, which was on the 9th. Good thing said wedding was in the evening, because I’m not sure I would have been completely awake otherwise. Anyway, I made it, the wedding went well despite being moved indoors at the last minute because of rain, BJ and her new hubby Mike are very happy… all is well. ๐Ÿ™‚

I spent 2 weeks in the States, and they went by insanely fast. I got to spend some time with Sandrine, which we both needed and thoroughly enjoyed. I got to help out at the barn she works at, which, while tiring, was a lot of fun. Like I told her, you know you’re a horse freak when you get excited about getting to clean stalls. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We also went to see The Avengers (great movie) and I got to meet the family she’s staying with – and their pets. My mom flew in the week after I did, and we put together a belated birthday party for Sandrine. I have to say it was a little weird to be buying the cake this time instead of making it. At least I was able to find one that was not eligible for Cake Wrecks.

I also got to spend a good chunk of time with BJ’s family (they all adopted me years ago so really they’re my family now too), which was a lot of fun. I got to meet up with a few other friends as well, and just before I left I got to spend a day at the ranch. Even better, I got to ride in the Parade of Breeds that night, which I hadn’t gotten to do in years. Thanks, Marilyn! ๐Ÿ˜€

When I got back, I basically hit the ground running. Just a few days after I flew back in, I got drafted to help a friend of mine move up here from Nice (about a 600-mile round trip). I drove the U-Haul, which actually wasn’t nearly as tricky as I’d feared. Driving through a torrential rainstorm on the way down was a tad nerve-wracking, though, I will admit. But I managed, and she’s all nicely settled in now, just 10 minutes from here, which is nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

The weekend after that, a group of us (mostly from the last youth conference) got together for some fun and fellowship, which was great.

Since then, it’s been fairly quiet around here, especially since Audrey’s in London now, working at the Olympics. Yes, you read that right, and yes, I am just a tad jealous. But just a tad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve got another conference comingย  up this weekend, and despite being incredibly short-staffed this time around, I think it’s going to be great. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s what’s been going on, in a nutshell. Pictures coming soon. And I won’t leave you all hanging so long next time, I promise!

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Starting off with pics from Fredericksburg:

Awaken the Dawn

Getting ready to take a trip down memory lane

Jonathan at Jepson fountain

Lisa and Ian

The library "tunnel"

"I tawt I taw a tamera!"

The boys on the Spirit Rock

Monroe fountain

Quite a few of these around campus

Random flower close-up

The bell tower

Squirrel! (a VERY common sight on campus)

Lee Hall

Sandrine with our awesome hosts, the Pendergrafts

 

Pics from Charlottesville:

Matt

Mini road trip

Something you don't see in France - frame houses

Gorgeous Virginia landscape

We made it!

Of course the boys headed straight for the swing set

Say cheese, Will!

Captain Matt at the helm

More gorgeous scenery

"Hi, chickens!"

 

I only managed to get a few pics at the ranch before the batteries died…

Royal Cadet, aka RC

Dollie

Close-up
ย 
At BJ’s:
ย 

Cavalry, aka Cav

Harlequin

“Uh, Mom, you’re in my spot…”
ย 
One last cute pic:

Jim and Max

 

Aaand that’s a wrap! Until next time… ๐Ÿ™‚

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OK, so I’m not at the ranch right now, but I couldn’t resist.

So… it’s been nearly 3 weeks since we arrived, and I’m just now posting this? Well, I have been kind of busy, plus Internet access has been somewhat sporadic. All right, enough with the excuses. I’ve been procrastinating too.

Anyway, these past couple of weeks have been… interesting to say the least. The trip over here was slightly insane, starting with a 3:30 am wake-up to get to the train station by 5:45 to catch a 6:13 train (just barely made it, no thanks to a rather massive detour due to road work). The train ride up to Paris and the subsequent flight to New York all went smoothly; it was on the flight from New York to Norfolk that things once again hit a snag. Our flight was delayed for 3 hours due to bad weather somewhere along the original route (they must have recalculated the route half a dozen times before we finally took off), and when we finally did arrive, we discovered that our bags had somehow not made it onto the plane, so we had to wait another hour and a half for them to show up on the next flight. By the time we finally made it to Grandpa’s, it was after 8:00 pm (2:00 am French time – I’d been up for almost 24 hours). So much for catching the NCIS season finale “live” (though when I finally did get to watch it online I discovered I hadn’t really missed much – pretty anticlimactic and “meh”).

The first couple of days were spent grocery shopping and sorting out details for the weekend, and then it was off to Fredericksburg to catch the last couple of days of Awaken the Dawn. We stayed with my old college pastor and his family, which was a lot of fun. I hadn’t seen them since graduation 4 years ago, so naturally we had a ton of catching up to do. Also got to catch up with a couple of my college friends who were still in the area. More importantly, I was able to recharge my spiritual batteries a bit and enjoy a conference without being on staff for a change (not that it isn’t rewarding, but it’s ultimately exhausting).
I will readily admit that staying focused proved to be rather challenging though: Saturday morning we got a phone call from my mom saying that Roxer had died very suddenly a few hours before. He’d had what appeared to be epileptic seizures and passed away several hours later (we found out through a friend that it may have been some kind of tumor or aneurism that occurs sometimes in Golden Retrievers). Needless to say, Sandrine took it really hard, as did the rest of us. I know that in the grand scheme of things, losing a dog may not seem that important, but he was part of our family, and losing a family member is always hard. All of us, as well as a good number of our friends, were praying for a miracle. (Hey, if God can raise people from the dead, why not animals?) But, after a week of nothing happening, my dad was finally forced to bury him. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Coming home next week is definitely going to be bittersweet for me.

The following week was fairly quiet, punctuated by a thrift store shopping spree with one of my mom’s best friends (she is AWESOME). That Friday saw us on the road yet again, this time heading up to Charlottesville to spend Memorial Day weekend with my aunt, uncle and cousins. That was mildly insane, but lots of fun. We went strawberry picking on Saturday, which resulted in, among other things, a fabulous strawberry pie. Sunday we wentย to the Green Valley Book Fair, where I refrained from buying everything that caught my eye only because I remembered I have limited space in my suitcase. ๐Ÿ˜› Before that, we’d stopped by a tack shop and picked up a few goodies. And before we headed out on Monday, we visited some friends of my uncle’s who just started up a Louisiana-style catering business and were offering a free lunch. It was simply delicious.

Last Tuesday was our long-overdue visit to the ranch. For me, it was a chance to take a little stroll down memory lane and become barn staff again for a day, and for Sandrine it was a chance to meet some of her future co-workers and get her feet wet, so to speak. As expected, she really hit it off with everyone and fell in love with the place instantly. She may even have already found her favorite ranch horse. I now have absolutely no worries about dropping her off there later today. I’m almost tempted to stay, but I can’t.

The highlight of the rest of the week was the Greater Gloryย conference at the Founders Inn, featuring (among others) Todd Bentley. I hadn’t been back there in years, and amazingly, it was pretty much exactly how I remembered it. Talk about a trip down memory lane. The one thing I’m really glad stayed the same was how the presence of God permeated the building. I still remember being 8-9 years old and falling asleep in the back of the room because the meeting went on longer than I could keep my eyes open, just soaking up the heavenly atmosphere. There were a few times I was tempted to do that again.

Saturday I finally got to see BJ and spend the day with her and her family. Between Starbucks, laptop shopping, fast food, playing with new laptop, hanging out and generally just being silly, I think I can safely say a good time was had by all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday I got to meet up with another friend who was house-sitting for her parents. We had fun watching movies and keeping up a running commentary (and in the case of Gone With the Wind, mocking some ofย the characters). Not quite so fun was keeping the nosy poodle away from our Snickers bars.

I have a few more friend meet-ups lined up this week, and then Sunday it’s back to France I go. Already… crazy how fast it’s gone by.

Oh, and before you ask, yes, there will be pictures when I get back.

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